Improving animal welfare in hog production by adopting a smart environment-control strategy

Stéphane Godbout, researcher

Stéphane Godbout

Researcher, P.Eng., agr., Ph.D.

418 643-2380
ext 600

Contact Stéphane Godbout

Luc Belzile

Description

Ambient temperature is usually the only factor used to regulate hog house ventilation systems. However, other factors such as humidity and air speed can also significantly impact the animals’ well-being. There can be a significant discrepancy between the animals’ actual needs and the performance of existing ventilation systems. That’s why it’s time we rethought and improved the environment-control strategies employed in the hog production industry.

This project proposes to measure relative humidity and air speed in hog houses and integrate these parameters into the control of ventilation systems. By doing this, we will be able to determine the temperature actually experienced by the animals and then adjust the ventilation system accordingly (by manipulating air flow and the air inlet opening) to ensure their comfort. Trial tests will be carried out in two IRDA breeding rooms in a fully controlled environment that replicates commercial hog house conditions.

Objective(s)

  • Improve animal welfare in the hog production industry by adopting a new environment-control strategy.
  • Incorporate relative humidity and air speed readings taken at hog height into ventilation control systems.
  • Use tests in a controlled environment to assess the impact of this new ventilation strategy on the well-being and performance of fattening pigs.
  • Evaluate the cost and feasibility of implementing this straight-forward technique in commercial hog houses.

From 2019 to 2021

Project duration

Livestock production

Activity areas

Animal welfare

Service

The addition of certain parameters will make it possible to regulate hog house ventilation to better meet the needs of animals.

Partners

Centre de développement du porc du Québec | Maximus | Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation

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